With the league office making it clear that there shall be no criticism of game officials, the New Orleans Saints have gone passive-aggressive in order to get their point across regarding a blown call that killed a potential first-half scoring drive during Monday night’s game against the Vikings.
With no mention of the fact that a penalty flag wasn’t thrown, the Saints have pasted on their official web site a photo of Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway grabbing the mask of Saints running back Reggie Bush.
Technically, there’s no criticism.  As a practical matter, anyone who saw the game or who otherwise knows about the call realizes exactly what the Saints are up to with this.
We like their creativity; it remains to be seen whether the league office appreciates the outside-the-box approach.



  1. That’s the perfect way to deal with a missed call. There’s nothing the league can or should do about it. The Saints have simply posted a picture from the game. If the league doesn’t like it, then they should do something about the officiating like making the refs full time employees.

  2. Cry me a river. Every team gets jobbed at some point. I can point out a call or non-call in every Viking loss this year that would have changed the game. Let’s move on.

  3. It was obviously a blown call, but still look at the way Bush is carrying the football. I watched the game it wasn’t just a result of the face mask, Greenway released the face mask and knocked the ball out with the same hand. It was fumbled because Reggie was letting the pigskin flop around away from his body. But yes Ed hachuli needs a vacation permanently. I think the roids are finally getting to him.

  4. monger is right. there is nothing that can or will be done about it. Lets face it, officiating is not a perfect craft. It’s very difficult for four referee’s to judge the conduct of 22 players each snap. I would actually go so far as to commend them for the job that they do given the circumstances. Maybe, rather than complain about calls, which seems to be the flavor of the month, win a game outright. You never hear the winning team complain about blown calls.

  5. Absolutely right, monger. The league has enough revenue/income that the refs SHOULD be full-time. During the week they sit in film-study rooms viewing “situations” and getting tested on them. Top officials get to work on Sundays (or Mondays) AND are eligible for raises and post-season games. I previously reffed H.S. Volleyball, and the more “situations” that you’re exposed to the better official you become.

  6. So the Refs didn’t see and/or missed calling a penalty. It happens. The Saints got away with plenty of obvious holds in the game that could have been called.
    They had plenty of chances to bury the Vikings and didn’t get the job done. Tough Noogies. That’s the game.
    The Vikings did everything but gift-wrap the game for NO. Man up, Saints.

  7. On another note why did the NFL get rid of the 5 yard face mask. Maybe the official saw the grabbing of the face mask but not the twisting therefore didn’t call it. The game does move kidda fast.
    It seems that the NFL wanted to get rid of some of the judgment calls in the off season and they only made things worse. I mean if accidently grab a handful of facemask why not drag the guy down by it. I mean in most cases I’m going to get the 15 yarder either way,… MN vs. NO game the exception.

  8. they have to stop crying plenty of teams got screwed already this year
    vikes week 1 vs packers, we all know that was Pi
    vikes in tenn
    saints again
    i mean i would say it cost them the game IF it did, u dont know what could have happen if they called the penalty, all we know is the saints had 10000000 more chances to win this game, saints lost this one, all the turnovers and penalties and they still had a chance gtfo that no call had no effect when its all said and done

    i’m so sick of teams whining about blown or missed calls. they happen every game. some worse than others, yes, but man up and grow a pair.
    for the saints website, i would’ve chosen a nice shot of gramatica crying on the sidelines or the vikings catching the blocked punt on their way to the endzone.
    seriously, you get two (2) returns for touchdowns and you’re sniffling about a missed facemask call? WEAK.

  10. Missed calls are part of the game. Refs are “players” just as much as any QB or safety. A QB can throw a pick or cough up the rock and a safety can blow a route or miss a tackle. Mistakes are part of the game. That’s why you play the game.

  11. I thought it was only worth the old 5 yards since he let it go and went after the ball the first time I saw it. The second time, with a freeze frame, I would say it could have gotten the 15, but was not as suspect as the Suggs malice in the heart 15 yards for touching Collins on the shoulder.

  12. A better photo would have been a couple frames later when the ball was getting knocked out. If they saw the fumble how did they miss the facemask?

  13. Suggestion –
    Rather than 6 full-time officals (+1 in the booth for replay assistance) for every game, it would be more economically efficient – and return better results – if there were 11 part-time officals for every game.
    Then every pair of players has a pair of eyes on them, and no interaction will be missed.
    I think I am joking…

  14. If that flag is thrown the saints are down on the viking twenty with a chance to score and change the whole momentum of the game. Don’t tell me this call didn’t mean anything, if it was your team and it was missed you would be the first one on here complaining.

  15. The best philosophy I’ve ever heard about missed/incorrect calls is that if you are far enough up on your opponent, a few missed calls won’t matter.
    The teams that most often win are the ones that play “62 minutes” of football (i.e. they relax *after* the game is over). Lose focus or let your guard down because you -think- you’re winning, and you’re gonna be complaining about blown calls.

  16. Before the Saints whine they should go back to the Tampa game, and look out how lopsided that one was.

  17. For the guy who said there were plenty of holding calls that could of been made on the saints, same could be said for the vikings. Holding happens on almost every freaking play in the NFL, it’s just excessive holding that gets called.
    I believe the facemask brings the issue of what’s reviewable. In the offseason, the refs should go through and decide what’s reviewable. It isn’t like we don’t have the technology to review EVERY play. And as long as a team only gets two challenges, it won’t become excessive.
    What bothers me most about the game isn’t the facemasking call, it was Hochuli’s explanations. The ball was coming out, but it still isn’t a fumble? The defender was in the neutral zone, then the “false start” occurred, and the plays don’t offset, but the false start is enforced? Seriously, he basically said screw you Saints, I don’t like Payton, so I’m giving you BS calls.

  18. Can anyone remember if they posted a similar picture of their OT Brown pulling Bucs DE Adams to the ground with an obvious hold that wasn’t called on Brees 29 yard pass to Bush during their game winning drive in week one?
    I guess they don’t care about the officials making blunders if it helps them out but cry like girls if they can use it for an excuse (instead of admitting they just aren’t a very good team)

  19. Clever. I’ll give em that. Stop whining and don’t turn over the ball 50 times. You guys could have won a million times over, but you didnt. A 9th grade Coach could out coach Childress and you gave the game to the vikes.

  20. I’m sure Hochuli will feel “devastated” by this blown call also. He’ll be “crying” his way to the bank when he cashes in both Broncos and Vikings bonus check for giving them “extra services”. 😉

  21. I think if the league didn’t have the refs concentrating and/or worrying about every little wussy penalty they could concentrate on real penalties. Four refs have to make sure each of the 22 players doesn’t get a holding, Pass Interference, Rough the Passer, etc. How can anyone follow all the action at the pace it goes?

  22. “The Saints got away with plenty of obvious holds in the game that could have been called.”
    BS, Norseman. Prove it with some photos.

  23. of course they have to complain about it, saying otherwise is like saying we should just accept taxes as part of life…NEVER!

  24. In real-time, it’s very hard to see the calls. Ed didn’t not throw the flag, but he announced the call. Sean Payton and the Saints had plenty of opportunities to win that game. Drew Brees said it best, “We need to learn how to win…That’s about it.” The Saints are showing that they don’t know how to win and that they are poor losers when it comes to that side. They need to move on and shift their focus on Oakland, who I am guessing will come out and smack the Saints in the mouth.
    Being a Vikings fan, I have learned long ago that if one missed/blown call would cost you the game, then you didn’t really deserve to win anyways. Neither team deserved to win last night, the Vikings just made one stupid mistake less then the Saints.

  25. ballhead – I agree 100% – also no mention of the stupid call by cry baby Payton – to onside kick in the first quarter – gave the vikes an easy 3 points – oh yeah – how much did they lose by?

  26. Hey the Vikings have a picture of a “blown call” on their website, too. It’s called thehiringofbradchildress.jpg.

  27. and norseman…the Vikings got away with plenty of obvious holds also during the game(funny not one called the whole game against their sucky overrated O line)… that missed call plus losing the fumble on the play cost the Saints a tie at the least …sure the Saints had plenty of blown opportunities and have nobody to blame but themselves…BUT…what in the heck are the refs watching if they can’t see the ball carriers head turn sideways from the obvious facemask…with all of Hochuli’s blown calls,actually,game deciding, they should suspend him for a couple weeks without pay so he can get his act together

  28. Listen up morons. Refs do miss holding calls but there is no excuse for missing a call involving the guy with the BALL! If none of the stripe shirts are watching the ball what are they doing??? Yes, teams get jobbed every game and that is not acceptable in a league where the league, players, and officials make LOTS of $$$$$. This isn’t the Saturday afternoon pop warner game at the town field.

  29. It’s one thing to miss a call away from the play, it’s quite another to miss a facemask call on the ball player. And those that are saying it had no bearing on fumble, how do you know? Getting your head twisted halfway off is going to cause a player to react to the facemask and lose focus. Bottom line, blown call.

  30. It’s a mistake for them to focus on this call.
    Give the Saints back this bad call and they still more than likely lose. If they would have cut out some of the mistakes, they win.
    Focus on the things you can control, not the things you can’t.

  31. i’m so sick of people whining about teams whining about blown calls on potential momentum swinging plays.
    Mistakes should be allowed to happen and never pointed out.

  32. So did NFL officials meet with the Chinese government during the Olympics to get schooled in crushing free speech?

  33. This isn’t about the Saints whining as it seems like the comments are geared towards. It was just simply pointing out a clever way to show a blown call without actually saying anything.
    You know, like if you have a booger (Johnny Fever… WKRP… anybody?) hanging out of your nose I might scratch the tip of my nose to let you know it’s there. I don’t say anything about it but you get the point, right?
    I’m in the boat with those who think the refs should be full-time. You’re talking about the #1 sport in America. There have been a lot of blow calls that were freaking obvious to anybody. If the refs were full-time there would still be blown calls, but I’m sure not as many.

  34. Enough f’ing crying about the refs. Happens every game to all the teams that somehting and often many things are missed.
    In the Pats-9ers game there were at least 3 blatant personal fouls with 49ers pushing or otherwise striking Pats players long after the play was over, an offsides and a couple of blatant holds the latter right in front of the refs none of which were called. And that’s not including what they didn’t call on the Pats which a 9ers fan could probably tell you better than I can.
    It’s up to the teams not to put themselves into a position that one blown calls costs them the game. Shutup and play.

  35. Ever time this year we have a game with bad calls, ED Hockuley is the Ref. Up until this season he was the most recognizable and respected refs in the league since Jim Tunney. Why is his crew the ones with these calls? These aren’t simple missed holding calls; these are flagrantly wrong and game changing mistakes. Why is it this one crew time and time again?
    Last nights game had horrible officiating, and yes game changing officiating.

  36. OMG!!!! Give me a break already. These guys are all suppose to be professionals…and guess what…you could call a penalty on almost every play. Here’s a concept….”Don’t put yourself in a position for a blown/made call to determine the outcome of the game” Get a kicker worth his weight. Make a kick!

  37. oh and enough with the crushing of free speech crap, every member of the nfl has a conduct policy they agree to
    in other words they’ve waived their free speech
    once they get out of the nfl they can run all the anti-nfl smack they please

  38. there is a little bit of irony in vikings fans saying “it happens to everyone” or “it is what it is” etc…. i have heard all kinds of crying from vikings fans all year about blown calls(some were legit some were not) but when it comes to the blown call being in favor of the vikes, it’s “oh stop your crying, it happens to everyone”. hmmm… let’s see if they remember that next time a blown call goes AGAINST them.

  39. Aren’t all teams “official” sites part of the “NFL Internet Network”? If you look at them, they are all laid out similarly. The content may be posted by someone local, but I bet they are all governed by the NFL – which probably pays for them.
    If that is true, I can’t imagine that picture being up much longer.
    BTW – quit whining Saints fans – every team gets screwed over by missed calls every year.

  40. I’m A LOT more upset about the non-fumble call on Peterson, WHICH WAS REVIEWED. Here’s my e-mail to Ed Hochuli:
    I would never judge a ref based on a split-second call, but when you have time to review a play like the Peterson fumble, and conclude that he still had control before his knee hit, then I have a serious problem with you. You’re not only blind, you’re incompetent. Once my favorite ref (and I am a big enough fan that I know all of you head guys by name), you are now making a fool of yourself. I hope you can fight through it. I know the pressure on refs to get the call right is immense, but with the help of instant replay, it’s a disgrace to get such an obvious call wrong.

  41. I am no Saints fan but…problem with all you anti Saints arguments saying that if they didn’t turn the ball over or didn’t make so many mistakes they would have won is the fact that one of those major mistakes (the Bush fumble) was a direct result of the facemask. If that play is called the Saints have 1 less mistake and in a game like that they probably win.

  42. Vikings fans are the worst complainers of any fans so I don’t know why any of you are telling ‘Aints fans to shut up. If i had a penny for every little complaint I have heard over the years i would be Bill Gates. What I saw last night was a piss poor team led by a piss poor coach win a game that should have been a blow out. I don’t know how any of you are even proud of that win or your team.

  43. As a former official I hate the elimination of the five yard incidental face mask foul. The league instructed the officials to only call fouls where there is a severe twist and pull. This is a serious oversite and a safety issue. Not giving the official the option of calling the foul first and then determing severity after watching the complete play is nonsensical. What the league has done has made it more difficult to get it right. All face mask fouls should be 10 yard fouls and not an automatic first down.

  44. You know…there isn’t a team in the league (or any other sport for that matter) that hasn’t come up on the short end of a ref’s call. It happens. Ref’s are only human, and until you have GOD or his Holy Son Jeasus doing the ref work your gonna get that. I doubt that either will have the time to call the Raiders Saints game though.
    The Saints are beginning to look like whining children, who didn’t get their way. I feel for them, the call was missed, with that being said….GET OVER IT ALREADY!!!!!
    Besides….they are acting like the blown call was the reason they lost….hmmmmm… consider a missed 42 yard field goal, and 4 turnovers, not to mention a TON of penalties, as some of the other reasons the Saints lost.
    I am a VIKING fan, and don’t think the Vikes deserved to win the game either, but it wasn’t because of the missed facemask call. The Vikings couldn’t run the ball, and their secondary got carved like a Thankgiving Day turkey.
    I would not whine for days on end had they lost. Stuff happenes….get on with life.

  45. I am a Saints fan and I am not whineing about anything. I am only asking for some consistance in the Refs calls. I mean they are suppose to be professionals. If they are going to miss a call like this, then they should have missed the pass interference call at the end of the game. And a couple of weeks ago when they called the saints player off sides and then failed to see the Denver defender off sides. And the biggest thing to me is that they will never admit they messed up and are even trying to fine Coach Peyton for saying they did, now that’s Un-American. I undestand the game will stand and even if they would have caught all the call the Saints may have still lost, but then NFL Refs need to be man enought to stand up say they made a error, say they are sorry. Not try and cover it up, but try to fix it so it doesn’t happen again.

  46. The Saints fumbled four times; Brees was intercepted twice; their safety ran into Berrian on a ball he probably wouldn’t have caught setting up the game-winning FG; there were dumb (and correctly called) penalties that stalled drives; they missed a go-ahead FG and had another blocked and returned for a TD.
    But hey, if they want to dwell on a missed facemask penalty as the reason they lost then they’re just being ignorant of the real reason they lost a game they should have won.

  47. It almost seems like the NFL takes a position of denial when it comes to this. Teams have to be carefull how they expresses displeasure. Coaches are contacted if they are too vocal. It would be far better to identify the problems and address it with viable solutions. People have to realize that human error connot be removed from the game.

  48. Quit crying, saint fans. Calls like this are blown every game. The only reason it’s getting so much attention is because it’s Hochuli.
    Sean Peyton cried like a little girl for a good 15 minutes after the play. Maybe he should work on ball control in practice. The Saints screwd the pooch last night, not the refs.

  49. Maybe the Saints should also put up a picture of Drew Brees dropping straight back and throwing the ball at the feet of 3 offensive lineman with a MPG of Hochuli explaining how Brees was outside of the pocket.

  50. Geez, do you suppose some of the “mistakes” the Saints made were due the the play of the Vikes? Maybe Brees’ fumble was due to a good sack/hit by Winfield, the blocked FG due to a deep push by the interior line, or the fumbles due to sound tackling/ball stipping technique. Maybe some of the Saints’ offensive penalties were because the defensive players were in a position to make a play or the defensive penalties because a receiver beat the safety, etc. That’s why the Titans beat the Vikes a week ago — their strong defensive play created the mistakes. You didn’t see me whining about a bunch of calls or “mistakes” in that game — let the losers whine about that crap.

  51. It’s one thing to miss a penalty call away from the ball, but to miss a call like this on the ball is terrible.
    Grammatica will likely lose his job over his poor performance. He’ll be held accountable for his “game changing” miss. How about the officials; when are they ever held accountable?

  52. Full time referrees would make the same mistakes that part time refs do. The problem isn’t the lack of time for studing game film or rule books it is the speed of the game and attempt to measure intent of players.

  53. While I admit the Greenway facemask on Bush should have been called, the Peterson fumble review was the correct call. The ball was starting to move but Peterson still had it in his hands when the knee was down. That call was correct.

  54. Big freakin deal. Karma. The Saints won their first game of the year against the Bucs because of a non call. It was a holding on Gaines Adams that Reggie Bush scored on (screen play of course, no other offensive way he CAN score) that was the game winning TD. Deal with it AINTS fans. And i’m not even a Bucs fan. I hate Gruden.

  55. Cry more, I enjoy the Saints, they’re a division rival and have come far from the Aaron Brooks days but they dug their own hole.
    3 guys who had more influence with mistakes made that changed the final outcome of the game that had nothign to do with any calls. Don’t let teams stay that close. Cant blame the ref for bad snaps, int’s, and fumbles. 2 HUGE defensive plays by the Vikings are what changed the game, not some “blown call”.
    Human error is part of the game, quit crying, this witch hunt is old…I may as well as start reading Yahoo/AOL sports again…

  56. While it may be true that teams are screwed every week over bad calls, that does not mean that it should be acceptable. Pointing out these errors does not constitute “whining” and I’m sure the Saints are not implying that the call was the sole reason they lost, but clearly it was one of the contributing factors. Clearly, this was only one of the turnovers and/or penalties that led to Vikings points.

  57. “”””The best philosophy I’ve ever heard about missed/incorrect calls is that if you are far enough up on your opponent, a few missed calls won’t matter.””””
    Does that mean if the teams are tied the refs should leave the game?

  58. that’s a lame philosophy in some instances where both teams have played well enough to win AND poor enough to lose, and then one gets completely screwed over right at the end.
    missed calls are going to happen, but that week 2 thing was an abomination
    how any competent ref can call what he claims was a backward pass, an incompletion…that’s just retarded.
    what happened monday night is commonplace by comparison
    hochuli is under a gigantic microscope right now, as he should be
    any ref who thinks a backwards pass is an incompletion, should have been fired week 2, and he’s admitted it
    the nfl is the nba this year…someone’s making money and lots of it

  59. Boo-Fu***ng-Hoo!!!!
    Maybe they should post the pic of Bernard Berrian being tackled by Kaesvaharn on the last drive as he tried to reach out and catch a long pass from Frerotte.
    Maybe they can imply that the pass was uncatchable. HA!
    If there weren’t cry-babies in the league like the Saints, and their coach, and their players, and their fans, it wouldn’t be the NFL.
    How’s the weather down in the Cellar, Saints? Bottom of the division, again!

  60. VitoC1257
    You are an a**h***. No one is arguing about the pass interference call. If Bush was not tackled by the face mask, then there probably would have been no fumble. Saints keep the ball and have opportunity to score. The rules should be changed that when there is a change of possession that is reviewable, then also any missed penalty that occurred on the play should also be reviewable. I can’t wait for the next time that the Vikes lose on a missed call.

  61. The outcome of the game has nothing to do with the missed face-mask. The point is how do you miss the face-mask on the ball CARRIER being pulled around like that??? At least one of the refs should be looking right at him!

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